The Indian men's hockey team started off their campaign on a confident note with two consecutive wins over Sri Lanka and Oman. In what would be a mouth-watering contest, the Sardar Singh-led side is up against arch-rivals Pakistan.
India will take on Pakistan in their final Pool B match at the picturesque Soenhak Hockey Stadium, Incheon. Like India, Pakistan too have won their first two matches thrashing Sri Lanka 14-0 and China 2-0. Both the teams are on six points each. And the winner of the match will top the pool.
Already touted as the possible dress-rehearsals of the big final for the gold medal, the match will witness two of giants of the game.
"Playing against Pakistan is an experience that every player looks forward to, it will be the second time in Asian Games that I will be playing against them and I am sure that it will be a challenging battle for us. The whole team is excited and ready to take them on,” Sardar said.
A cautious coach Terry Walsh pointed out that "The match will be keenly contested. We need to display what we have developed over recent months and keep the free-running playing Style of Pakistan in check," he said. "Equally we will need to play with discipline and cunning against a formidable opponent. This is a contest we are very keen to play.”
In their last Asian Games meeting, India beat Pakistan 3-2 in Guangzhou for years ago. But Pakistan went onto win the gold medal, after beating Malaysia in the final. The stakes are high as usual. The winner of the gold medal will gain direct entry into the 2016 Rio Olympics. Besides, Indian team is bidding to win the men's hockey gold after 16 years.